Reading Time: 2 minutes In the last few months, bird flu has hit a slew of countries around the world Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

More than one million chickens will be culled after Sweden’s biggest egg producer has been hit with bird flu.

On January 18, H5N5 and H5N8 variants of avian influenza were discovered on a major poultry farm located near Monsteras.

‘Culled and destroyed’

According to Reuters, the country’s Board of Agriculture said: “Unfortunately, the disease has spread within the facility.

“[This] means that a large portion of all the animals, around 1.3 million, will be culled and destroyed.”

Earlier this year, French producers of foie gras called for hundreds of thousands of ducks to be culled due to outbreaks of bird flu.

The highly pathogenic H5N8 virus across the country saw around 350,000 ducks killed last year, with plans to cull a further 400,000. Reports say there has never been a confirmed case of this particular type of avian flu in humans. 

‘Eradicate’ bird flu

Moreover, the UK government has ordered all birds to be kept inside ‘to eradicate’ avian flu.

A joint statement from Great Britain’s three Chief Veterinary Officers said: “We’ve taken swift action to limit the spread of the disease. [We] are now planning to introduce a legal requirement for all poultry and captive bird keepers to keep their birds housed or otherwise separate from wild birds.

“Whether you keep just a few birds or thousands, from 14 December onwards you will be legally required to keep your birds indoors. Or, take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds. We’ve not taken this decision lightly. But, it’s the best way to protect your birds from this highly infectious disease.”

Eggs can continue to be labeled as ‘free-range’ for 16 weeks after the measures have taken effect. After that, they’re to be labeled as ‘barn eggs’. For poultry, meat can be marketed as free-range to for 12 weeks after December 14.

Liam Gilliver

Liam is the Deputy Editor and Social Media Coordinator for Plant Based News. He has written for a number of top publications including Gay Times, Attitude Magazine, Oh Comely, and The Huffington Post - and is the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.